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It can also be mentioned that 40% of the US corn crop goes to making ethanol, for blending with gasoline. So a crop failure could impact the price at the pump, as well.

Does adding ethanol raise or lower the price of gas?


IM thoroughly non-analytical HO it has no discernible and consistent impact on the price... but does mean you need more.

While there are places in the US where they could produce anhydrous ethanol (what you need, if you're going to mix it with gasoline) with low enough CO2 emissions that there'd be a net reduction, that is not true of the US overall. Instead, between growing and transporting the corn and then the high energy cost of making the ethanol that pure, it causes increased carbon emissions.

But it DOES transfer money effectively from the average commuter's pocket to the pockets of the big agricultural corporations.

(Aside: fuel-grade ethanol - where you just burn it as-is, not mix it with anything - is much easier to produce. In fact it's been done with a still made from a solar-powered water heater. And in principle, the average car could be adjusted to run on it. However, it's rather more corrosive and rather less of a lubricant than gasoline is, both of which would have substantial negative effects on various parts of a car.)
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